FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 2, 2017
Contact: Jon Reinish, 202-999-0461, firstname.lastname@example.org
(St. Louis, MO) – Today, Campaign for Accountability (CfA) filed a motion in the 21st Circuit Court in St. Louis County, Missouri to unseal the divorce records of Andrew Puzder, President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Labor. Press reports indicate the records include allegations of domestic violence, but they were sealed the day after President Trump nominated Mr. Puzder for the position. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee should have the opportunity to examine the records before proceeding with Mr. Puzder’s confirmation hearing.
“President Trump has nominated Mr. Puzder to head the Department of Labor, where he would oversee efforts to combat workplace harassment and violence. Before the United States Senate votes on whether Mr. Puzder is qualified to lead an agency charged with protecting the safety of American workers – including millions of women – the public is entitled to full information about Mr. Puzder’s record,” said Daniel Stevens, Executive Director of Campaign for Accountability.
According to court filings and multiple news reports, Mr. Puzder’s ex-wife, Lisa Henning, accused him of assaulting her, even appearing on ‘Oprah’ in disguise to discuss being a victim of domestic violence.
CfA first asked the Clerk of the Court to produce the records. After the clerk declined to do so, CfA filed a “writ of prohibition,” contending that Missouri law requires court records be made available for public inspection. The court may ask Mr. Puzder and Ms. Henning to file responses to CfA’s motion.
“Mr. Puzder’s company has a record of workplace safety violations and sexual harassment complaints. Mr. Puzder’s conduct behind closed doors reflects on his fitness for high office,” Mr. Stevens continued. “It’s clear Mr. Puzder is hiding something– we just don’t know what or how much.”
Mr. Puzder has failed to submit required vetting paperwork to the Senate, resulting in repeated re-scheduling of his confirmation hearing. Last set for February 7, the hearing has now been indefinitely delayed.
Campaign for Accountability is a nonprofit watchdog organization that uses research, litigation, and aggressive communications to expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life and hold those who act at the expense of the public good accountable for their actions.